Cravings and How to Understand Them by Christie Korth, Health and Wellness Director

Our body is a very unique machine that is always trying to send us signs and signals as to what it needs. The problem is, no one ever teaches you how to understand what your body is asking. I've always found that to be interesting.

Here is a primary example. To my lovely ladies out there. Crave chocolate when that time of the month comes? Welp. There is a reason why. Dark chocolate or Cacao nibs contain all of the unique minerals you need to replenish the blood flow we loose when we have our cycle.

This nutritionist makes her patients happy, as I recommend chocolate. When consumed correctly, you are helping your body. Did you know we crave sugar when we are dehydrated? Learn all of the signs your body is sending you, so you may better nourish yourself.

The 8 primary causes of cravings are:

1. Dehydration. The body doesn’t send the message that you are thirsty until you are on the verge of dehydration. Dehydration occurs as mild hunger, so the first thing to do when you get a strange craving is to drink a full glass of water.

2. Lack of primary food. When I discuss primary food, it is actually not food I am referencing. its all of the unique parts of you that make up you. For example. Remember being a small child and your Mom is calling you in for dinner and you are too busy playing to think about food. As adults, we loose that. And its very important for not only children, bu adults too!

Being dissatisfied with a relationship, or having an inappropriate exercise routine (too much, too little, or the wrong type), being bored, stressed, uninspired by a job, or lacking a spiritual practice, may all cause emotional eating. Eating can be used as a substitute for entertainment, or to fill the void of primary food. Sound familiar? This is part of my work with my patients.

3.Yin/yang imbalance. I have always found this to be interesting. McDonald's actually sneakily uses this tactic. Certain foods have more yin qualities (expansive) while other foods have more yang qualities (contractive). Eating foods that are either extremely yin or extremely yang causes cravings in order to maintain balance. For example, eating a diet too rich in sugar (yin) may cause a craving for meat (yang). Eating too many raw foods (yin) may cause cravings for extremely cooked (dehydrated) foods or vise versa. So what would one eat at McDonalds? Hamburger, which has yang qualities, salty fries and sugary soda, which has yin qualities. Ahhhh, see how they tricked you there?

4. Inside coming out. Oftentimes, cravings come from foods that we have recently eaten, foods eaten by our ancestors or foods from our childhood. A clever way to satisfy these cravings is to eat a healthier version of one’s ancestral or childhood foods. (Integrative Nutrition, 2006)